Ghana

 

Meredith returns to Accra, Ghana and You are Invited!
July 21-August 2, 2015

Ghana Service Trip : Children Riding ScootersAkwaaba to Ghana! After a productive service trip to Ghana in December, 2012, Meredith will return to Accra in 2015. This trip will include Meredith students, faculty, staff, retirees, alumnae and family and friends, ages 18 and up. Come experience Ghanaian culture in a truly unique manner and make a real difference. In December, 2012, ten volunteers worked at the Beacon House orphanage leading a literacy program for the children, planting fruit trees on the property, and partnering with the NC State Department of Poultry Science had a chicken house built providing eggs for the children and an egg layer business for the orphanage. For our Ghana, 2015 we will expand our volunteer services to the orphanage’s village of Bawaleshie.

The aim of the program in Ghana is to help the Bawaleshie community by providing resources – educational, business consulting, construction, offering supplies, etc. - that they lack in a way that will provide a meaningful and lasting impact. We also hope to increase the mutual understanding and strengthen the friendship between the people of Ghana and the people of the United States.

Special skills are not required to participate in this service trip. One of the mottos for this trip will be, “What Skills and Resources Can We Leave Behind?” For our projects we will teach  and provide resources that the villagers can build upon in the years ahead. Project assignments will be based on a combination of volunteer interest, community needs, available space, and program logistics. All participants will attend an orientation session at Meredith in February, 2015 to facilitate project planning; some of the projects will require additional training. Examples of the service we hope to offer are:

  • Micro Business Certificate Program – offering a certificate program for retired teachers and business men and women in the Bawaleshie Village. This will be  a basic business skills curriculum that they will be able to teach to small business owners in the future.
  • Library - partnering with North Carolina based non-profit, One Library at a Time (http://www.onelibraryatatime.com), we will improve the library in a primary school in Bawaleshie. The school has books, we will bring more books and a former librarian will lead our project, marking all of the books with the Dewey Decimal System and teaching several of the school's teachers how to be librarians.
  • Construction – hiring local workers and offer an apprentice opportunity for teens in the village, and our construction team will build shelves and tables for the school library.
  • Education and Arts – leading a teacher training certificate program in science and literacy and working with the village children. We will also train mothers and teachers how to lead the Motheread literacy program.
  • Athletics – working with one of the Beacon House volunteers we will lead soccer camps for children in Accra. We will bring an innovative product developed by college students called the Soccet; a soccer ball that generates electricity as you play. So one can play soccer by day and use the soccer ball to light their lamp at night!
  • Agricultural education and planting - working with local farmers to better their crop yield, care for the Beacon House chickens, and hands on tree planting at various venues in the village.
  • Public Health - improving public health in the community, focused on malaria prevention, AIDS, and hygiene.
  • ABAN–volunteering with a non-profit called ABAN (http://www.aban.org) that addresses waste management and the plight of marginalized women; ABAN was started in 2010 by a UNC Chapel Hill alumnus. ABAN rents a large home and houses 20 women and their 12 children. The women are taught basic math and English, business, savings, and electives. This experience is partly funded through ABAN’s sale of goods such as handbags, wallets, and jewelry made from recycled plastic water bags and glass. The water bags provide Ghanaians with pure drinking water, yet tons of this plastic ends up on the streets due to inefficient trash collection systems. ABAN currently recycles 18,000 bags each month and teaches environmental awareness in the community. We will work in a variety of ways to support the work with ABAN.
  • Healing – leading a healing program for adults who work with children who have experienced trauma. We will teach this curriculum at ABAN and Beacon House. Training is required to participate on the healing team. This curriculum was developed by an American who worked with African children for many years. The material teaches caretakers how to respond to the needs of hurting children to restore hope to their lives. If you are interested in participating in the healing team, please contact Stacy Pardue (pardues@meredith.edu), the trip coordinator, to discuss the necessary training.
  • Project Footnotes - providing shoes for children. Project Footnotes was started as a Girl Scout Gold Award project by Meredith student, Lacey Hambridge, with the goal of providing unique, colorful, and inspirational shoes to children of need. In 2012, over 200 pairs of decorated shoes were delivered to 8 different orphanages in Haiti. Before the Ghana trip, students will decorate white canvas shoes for children at Beacon House. Each pair of shoes is unique, just like the decorator and the child who will receive them!
  • Videography - producing a professional video of the Beacon House children. One of our participants is a professional videographer, and we will use the video when we return to the states to find financial sponsors for the Beacon House children.

Map of GhanaAbout BAWALESHIE

The city of Accra, the capitol and largest city of Ghana with an estimated urban population of 2.3 million, is divided into four geographical regions - North, West, East, and Central. The village of Bawaleshie where we will focus our volunteer efforts is located in a hilly area of Accra North. In Bawaleshie there is a University (Valley View), a Christian College, two Senior High schools, a number of basic schools, a District Hospital and clinics, NGOs offering various services, and another orphanage which is very near the Beacon House property. For those who work with farmers, there are many mango farms and other crops in the area. The economy primarily consists of individuals selling various types of wares in the marketplace, including beads makers, chop bar (local restaurant) operators, small scale shop keepers, and palm wine sellers.

Accommodations

While working in Bawaleshie, we will be staying ten minutes away at the Forest Hotel Dodowa, and for our two nights in Cape Coast we will be staying at the beach front Coconut Grove Hotel. The rooms in both hotels have bathrooms, showers (be aware that hot water may not always be available), air conditioning and comfortable beds. Amenities include:

  • Swimming Pools
  • Restaurant, bar and some
  • exercise facilities
  • Onsite activities such as ping pong and horse stables (Coconut Grove)
  • Scenic surroundings

Excursion to Cape Coast and Elmina

PANAFEST (http://www.panafest.us) is a biennial festival promoting Pan Africanism through Arts and Culture that is held every two years in Ghana and will be going on during our trip. We will travel to Cape Coast for Panafest, and there will be opportunities to tour the slave castle of Elmina, take an adventurous canopy walk in Kakum National Forest, and everyone will enjoy shopping and a day at the beach.

Panafest : Arts and CultureTrip Dates: July 21-August 2, 2015

Deadline to sign up: December 1, 2014.
Cost: Current approximate cost is $2000 per person, excluding airfare. Participants will be responsible for purchasing their own airline tickets. Single supplement: $300/person.
Cost includes: Collaborative service projects in Bawaleshie; all accommodations; all breakfast, lunches and dinners; local transportation throughout the program; most tools and materials needed for service projects; bottled water at work sites; full itinerary of cultural highlights including excursion to Cape Coast and tour gratuities.

Orientation and Training:  Saturday, February 21, 2015 OR Saturday, February 28. Please join us for one of these orientation sessions. We will meet at Meredith College in the Jones Chapel Common Room 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. where you will learn about all pertinent trip details, our program partners, and our projects. If you would like to be trained in the Motheread literacy program to lead with adults in Bawaleshie or children at the orphanage or local schools, the mandatory training will be held both orientation sessions from 4:30-5:30pm. Please email Stacy Pardue (pardues@meredith.edu) to register for one of the Motheread trainings. If you are coming from out of town for orientation, suggested accommodation is The Courtyard Marriott, five minutes from the Meredith campus. There will also be one other mandatory orientation session for Meredith students, and recommended session for all other participants offered by the Meredith International Programs Office. The date for this session will be set by October, 2014.

Student Application

Faculty/Staff Application

Community Application

Please mail your completed application to Rev. Stacy Pardue, Chaplain, Meredith College, 3800 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27607.

Contact Information:

Stacy Pardue, Chaplain
Phone: (919) 760-8346
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Jones Chapel Reservations
Natalie Hermann
Phone: (919) 760-8533
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